The trend of superteams is running rampant in the National Basketball Association. Teams across the league are seeking that star free agent to pair up with their current star or looking for trades to bring another star to the team.
Many fans say that this is ruining the league and causing the competitiveness to deteriorate in the NBA, but I feel that this is good for the league. It allows us to watch the biggest stars in the league team-up and see how far they can get against other superteams.
The first superteam I saw formed was the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were brought to Boston to join all-star small forward Paul Pierce.
This team went on to win the 2008 NBA Finals against the Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. This is the same Celtics team that eliminated LeBron James both times they faced him in the playoffs during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This led LeBron to “take his talents” to South Beach in 2010 to form a “Big 3” with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.
The Heat eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs twice in their first two years before Boston’s all-stars disbanded in 2013. The Heat went to the finals every year they had the “Big 3,” winning two out of four.
There were also failed superteams. In 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers traded for two-time MVP, Steve Nash and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard. Nash’s season was injury-riddled, causing him miss a majority of the season.
With Nash down, Bryant and Howard were constantly in a battling match all season. Bryant suffered a torn Achilles at the end of the season and Howard was left to hold down the fort.
The Lakers were swept by the Spurs in the first round and Howard left for the Houston Rockets during the offseason.
The Brooklyn Nets traded for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013 to compete with the Heat. They got their wish to play against Miami in the Eastern Semifinals but got bounced from the playoffs, 4-1.
The 2016-17 New York Knicks were supposed to make their return to the playoffs when they traded for former MVP, Derrick Rose. Their supposed superteam was Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis.
Rose was getting back in stride after multiple season-ending injuries before tearing his meniscus while Anthony and Porzingis were at war with then, general manager Phil Jackson.
The Knicks missed the playoffs continuing their five-year drought and Rose left in free agency, while Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Even with these failed attempts at superteams, they seem to be the norm for the NBA in 2017.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, picked up, Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and other pieces in the offseason.
The Oklahoma City Thunder finessed deals for Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, bringing them to play with reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook.
The Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul to team with MVP runner up, James Harden.
The Warriors, who seem to still be head and shoulders above these teams acquired Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all through the draft. They then lured Kevin Durant from the Thunder to the team after eliminating them in the playoffs the previous season.
Superteams are not bad for the league. Everyone is accustomed to a league where every star has their own team, but the superteam trend started 10 years ago and teams needed to adapt to stay competitive.
Watching household names on the same team does not hurt the league. It will allow fans to witness our favorite players teaming up and watch them compete against other teams with multiple stars and eliminate the “what ifs” when the players retire.
If your team is not a superteam, it will not be as fun for you but you can appreciate these top stars joining forces to showcase their chemistry and combined skills. I believe the superteam trend will eventually end, but let’s enjoy the show while it lasts.
Written by Gerald Thomas III, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of Zach Beeker.
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